Populism is on the move in Western Democracies. The unexpected levels of success achieved by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, both running forms of populist campaign, alongside the surging popular movements in Europe show change is afoot. Now, it appears as though another populist movement, this one in Iceland, may be about to take control. The Pirate Party, which I featured on Monday, is projected to win tomorrow’s general election in Iceland. The party plans on bringing more direct democracy to the tiny island nation. If that fosters the same success achieved by direct democracy in Switzerland, Iceland is on a good path.
Charles Duxbury reports at The Wall Street Journal:
An offshoot of the Swedish internet-freedom agitators of the same name, which also spawned a similar movement in Germany, recent Pirate Party campaigning has centered on ideas for more direct democracy while vowing not to disrupt an economic recovery.
The party supports the draconian capital controls that were introduced to protect the national currency after the 2008 crash. The party has also backed recent government efforts to unwind fund-transfer restrictions.
“Our critics seek to portray us as upstart kids with too much time on our hands, but we are actually pretty sensible,” said Smari McCarthy, a party founder who has been suggested as finance minister in a Pirate Party-led administration.
The Pirates are seen taking 22.6% of the votes on Saturday, according to a survey conducted over the five days to Oct. 19 by the University of Iceland. That would top the 21.1% forecast for the center-right Independence Party, which has ruled for most of the roughly seven decades since the North Atlantic island of 330,000 people gained independence from Denmark.